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More Local Considerations
(In no particular order)

  • Middle Creek Park, Dinsmore Woods,
    (9.5 mi total - moderate to occasional strenuous)
    Located in Boone County, Northern Kentucky.
    An area of Pleistocene glaciation (more), with thick forest, hills, and overlooks in Middle Creek Park, plus the Dinsmore homestead and woods offering much the same across the street.
    The Boone County Cliffs Cliffs are about 2 miles away.

  • Caesar Creek SP Backpacking Trail
    (14 mi around southern tip of lake)
    Located off I-71 N, near Waynesville
    Looking for a challenge?
    Unless it's changed, this one has everything...poorly marked trails, unmapped forks, rickety bridges and stream crossings. If you like adventure, this one might fit the bill. Note: To complete the loop, cross back over on Rt. 73

  • Germantown Metro Park
    Located about 35 miles away, Southeast of Dayton
    (11 mi of trails)
    Dayton has a great series of parks, with well marked trails and lots of scenery. Although Twin Creek MP is closer, this one is better. Offers hiking in forest, field and creekside.

  • Miami University Natural Areas
    (15 mi of trails)
    Located just east of Oxford
    The trails at Hueston Woods don't do much for me. I like these trails much better. Trails that connect several preserves together extend to the northeast from Oxford. One connects to the Art Museum!

  • Spring Grove Cemetery
    (2 - 5 hours)
    OK, I know this isn't really a hike. But if you're up for spending an incredibly interesting 2-5 hours outside in the second largest cemetery in the US, go for this one. Stop at the office when you enter to get the Historical Walking Tour map and the jogging routes map. Trust me on this one.



Here's more hikes
to enjoy!
(all within 80 miles)
  • Glen Helen, Clifton Gorge, John Bryan loop, OH
  • Rentschler Forest Preserve, OH
  • Fort Hill State Memorial, OH
  • Englewood Metro Park, OH
  • Adair Wildlife Management Area, KY
  • Sycamore State Park, OH
  • Versailles State Park, KY
  • Big Bone Lick State Park, KY
  • East Fork Lake State Park, OH
  • Highland Cemetery Nature Trails
  • Brown County State Park, IN
  • Eastwood Metro Park, OH
  • All Edge of Appalachia Preserves

These hikes are
also good!

  • French Park, OH
  • Taylorsville Metro Park, OH
  • Glenwood Gardens HCP, OH
  • Shawnee Lookout Trails, OH
  • Caldwell Nature Preserve, OH
  • Twin Creek Metro Park, OH
  • Hueston Woods State Park, OH
  • Gilmore Ponds Reserve, OH
  • Mt. Airy Forest "e" Trail, OH
  • Sharon Woods HCP Gorge Trail, OH

    Plus many, many others!


    Please EMAIL your trail suggestions!


    Get Out And GO !!
 

Great hike South of Dayton:

Narrows Reserve and Nature Center

This hike is about 5.5 miles. You can add another couple miles by hiking nearby Glen Thompson Reserve.

The Narrows is located near Beavercreek; about 50 miles from Cincinnati. It is an easy trail along the Little Miami, with some challenging, but short, elevation changes. Great fossils can be found in the washed out areas that cross the trail. Also, birdwatching is fabulous. I was shown a ruby throated warbler on a recent trip.

Park at the Nature Center (which is excellent) and grab a map. From there you can hike upriver, with several smaller loops connecting.

The river can overflow the low lying areas easily, so take some waterproof boots (or some old gym shoes that you can tie to the back of your pack to dry). Tree crossings over flooded areas will probably be necessary to complete all the trails. As a friend once told me, "tree crossings require two things, bravery and balance."

Another excellent hike, near Madison, Indiana

Clifty Falls State Park

This hike can be up to about 10 miles in length. Combine this hike with the historic walking tour of Madison, and you have a great day!

This place is the furthest away of all my "local" hikes (about 80 miles), but it's worth the drive.

What makes this hike special is the opportunity to "wade" a creek for multiple miles. Trail 2 is the rocky bed of Clifty Creek. Take waterproof boots, river sandals, water shoes or an old pair of gym shoes for the wet part of the hike. You can tie them to the back of your pack to dry.

The hike to the creek is steep, and you should consider this hike moderately strenuous. All of the trails are well marked, and it can become pretty crowded at times.

If you like the idea of a pretty tough hike, plus walking up a fossil laden creek, then this hike is for you!


HERE'S A HIKE EAST OF CINCINNATI

Great Seal State Park
Sugarloaf Mountain Trail
Chillicothe, OH

I had heard so much about the 1/4 mile straight uphill that I had to try it (Trail Map).

The outdoor drama "Tecumsah" plays at the base of the this mountain inside Great Seal State Park near Chillicothe. I doubt even he could make it up this trail without stopping to rest.

I'm not sure if switchbacks hadn't been invented when this trail was made, or if they chose to make this hike extra aerobic, but it is definitely near straight up the side to the top.

In the fall and winter, the views from the top are great. The hike up is quite worth the drive. There are several other spots in the park that offer great hiking as well, most of which have lots of elevation changes within a thick deciduous forest.




HERE'S A HIKE SOUTH OF CINCINNATI


Doe Run Lake
Kenton County, KY

This is a great hike for those looking for somewhat of a challenge. The challenge park comes in when trying to hike around the west edge of the lake.

Here the trail is spotty at best, and at one point found myself in the middle of a stingy nettle field. Not pleasant.

The key is to stay next to the lake. Yes, there is a small path that borders the lake around the west edge

Give this hike a try, and you'll gain a great sense of accomplishment when you complete it.





 


Rentschler Forest Preserve
5701 Reigart Rd., Hamilton, OH

Here you can walk along the Great Miami River, go through woodlands, meadows and along streams, see a prehistoric earthwork, and see remnants of the old Miami-Erie Canal. And it's all within a five mile walk.

The track below is actually the joining of four loops trails. Thanks to connector trails, it's possible to hike up half of a loop, then join with the next loop trail and do the same, all the way to the end. Then you can cover the other half of the loops on the return trip.





Twin Creek MetroPark

10230 Eby Road, Germantown, OH

I'm a big fan of the Dayton MetroParks system, and their support of hiking. The trails are almost always extremely well marked and laid out. Usually, the orange trail is the longest in each of their parks. This month's hike is at the nearest MetroPark to Cincinnati, Twin Creek (Trail Map).

I suggest you park at the Dogwood Pond access at 10230 Eby Road. You can pickup a trail map there. From the lot, head south on the orange trail. The southern portions of this park offers the best hiking, with generally more to see, lots of elevation changes, great views of Twin Creek, and a Hopewell earthwork. When you reach Chamberlain Road, you can start to loop back north, or cross the street to do the purple trail loop.

When you loop back north on the orange trail, you can bypass the Dogwood Pond and continue north to create a longer hike, if you're so inclined.


A little further drive past Twin Creek MetroPark brings you to the larger Germantown MetroPark. This park offers excellent hiking as well.